• calcyclin;
  • cancer;
  • lung;
  • mass spectrometry;
  • small cell

To date, most of the proteomic analyses on lung cancer tissue samples have been performed using surgical specimens, which are obtained after a diagnosis is made. To determine if a proteomic signature obtained from bronchoscopic biopsy samples could be found to assist with diagnosis, 50 lung cancer bronchoscopic biopsy samples and 13 adjacent normal lung tissue samples were analyzed using histology-directed, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry (MS). Lung tissue samples were cryosectioned, and sinapinic acid was robotically deposited on areas of each tissue section enriched in epithelial cells, either tumor or normal. Mass spectra were acquired using a MALDI-time of flight instrument. Small cell lung cancers (SCLCs) demonstrated clearly different protein profiles from normal lung tissue and from non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs). Calcyclin (m/z= 10 094.7) was identified to be underexpressed in small cell lung cancers, as compared with non-small cell lung cancers and normal lung tissue. An immunohistochemistry study using 152 NSCLCs and 21 SCLCs confirmed significantly reduced calcyclin stain in SCLCs. Thus, protein profiles obtained from bronchoscopic biopsy samples via MALDI MS distinguish cancerous epithelium from normal lung tissue and between NSCLCs and SCLCs.